Our History 1951-Present

volunteers in pastThroughout the 50’s the League campaigns for neutering as the practical way to both control the numbers of cats in the UK and to promote a happier, healthier pet. By the end of the decade veterinary associations and animal welfare charities alike accept neutering as the most effective way to manage the cat population

1950-54 During these post-war decades, The Cats Protection League was actively seeking changes in legislation, so that the plight of cats and other animals might be improved. In 1951 the Pet Animals Act made pet shops subject to licensing by the Local Authority, with power to inspect, and in 1954 the Pests Act forbade the use of certain types of spring trap, intended for rabbits but which often cruelly killed cats.

Edinburgh branch1955-77 The Cat magazine celebrated its 21st anniversary in 1955 with an issue that highlighted the work of 16 branches around the country. The Editor gave space for the branches to write an account of their history and activities. Featuring larger branches Liverpool, Manchester and Edinburgh which had been established pre-war. Small branches in Stoney Stratford and Bexhill contributed alongside the revived post-war Dover Branch. South Wales and Bradford also made a contribution, and there was an account from an affiliated society in Victoria, British Columbia. The London committee, was very active, as were enthusiastic new branches in Truro, Walsall and Wolverhampton

With the ever-changing decade of the 1960s came numerous changes in animal protection laws and as a result, it became an offence to abandon an animal without reasonable cause. Then in 1963, all cat boarding establishments became subject to licensing with requirements for suitability and security of the premises, provision for feeding and cleanliness, and barriers against infection. Many of these changes had been advocated by The Cats Protection League and there was justified pride in having played even a small part in influencing these advances

1977- 1982 The charity launched a serious drive for increased membership, advertising in national newspapers and periodicals. Over 1,000 members were recruited in a few months, bringing the total to over 10,000. From 1980 membership cards were issued

At this point the Cats Protection League has a relatively small national network, consisting of just 26 branches. but alongside the drive for membership the charity launched a hugely successful national recruitment drive, which brought the number of Branches up to 50. By 1982 the number had doubled to 105, including a revival of the Edinburgh Branch, then the only one in Scotland

Headquarters HorshamThe charity continued to operate its headquarters from Prestbury Lodge until the building was sold in 1978. CP's headquarters then moved to Horsham, first to 29 North Street and then in May 1985 to 17 Kings Road. Five years later, the charity expanded into 19 Kings Road next door. The move meant that the cat clinic closed, but now the charity was able to concentrate its efforts on the real need - accommodation for cat rehabilitation

1987-1989 Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 1987, A campaign in the national press recruited 6,000 new members but the main birthday project was the publication of A Passion for Cats, a compendium of original writing on many aspects of the care and history of the animal and of the charity's work. This was edited by the then Chairman, Philip Wood. Beautifully illustrated, it was marketed by national bookshop chains and sold over 35,000 copies. Another birthday event was a Diamond Jubilee Conference and a special Bazaar with gifts from                                                             many celebrities and political notables, including Mrs Thatcher
One of the charity's main objectives has always been to inform the public about the care of cats and kittens and in 1990 a new audience was targeted - school pupils. Cats Protection produced its first teaching pack for use in schools by children aged 5-11 years. This was distributed free to teachers and was a huge success: 
demand greatly exceeded expectation. Renowned as an organisation for informing and educating the public, the organisation began to target school pupils in the introduction of their first teaching pack for primary school children. Distributed to teachers for free, it proved particularly popular and has now expanded to include teaching packs aimed at Key Stage 1 and 2 pupils as well as Key Stage 3 and GCSE students

Today, we produce three teaching packs: one for Primary (Key Stages 1 and 2) pupils, a Secondary pack for Key Stage 3 and GCSE students and finally a Primary Science CD-ROM (Key Stage 1)

microchipping1994 The charity, moving with the times, introduced microchipping into all its shelters (now known as adoption centres) in 1994. Every cat that the shelters rehomed was microchipped, neutered and vaccinated, in line with rigid standards of cat care and hygine set out by the Head of Veterinary Services and the Head of Operations

1998 The charity changes its name from The Cats Protection League to the shorter and more modern sounding Cats Protection. With a new logo and new name, Cats Protection began to promote its work at events and shows across the UK. Along with several veterinary trade shows, the charity has a presence at a range of popular lifestyle shows including the Knitting and Stitching Shows, the BBC Good Food Shows and Your Horse Live

1999 Cats Protection realised the importance of promoting its work, responsible pet ownership and the qualities of cats to a wider audience. To achieve this end, the Cats Protection Showmobile (a lorry that becomes a stand) was purchased. Designed to attend outdoor shows and fairs, the Showmobile still actively spreads the charity's messages                                                    today. The shows that we now attend include the National and Supreme Cat Shows, Crufts, the Ideal Home Show and                                                  the Chelsea Flower Show.

National Cat Centre2004 The National Cat Centre (NCC), opened in 2004. Located in Sussex. The NCC combines all the strands of the charity's work - cat adoption, education, veterinary care and administration. CP helps 52,500 cats every year, but with a growing feline population of around 9.2 million more needed to be done.

2007 This was a particularly special year for the charity – it marked our 80th anniversary and saw us firmly establish ourselves as the largest feline welfare charity in the UK, helping over 140,000 cats every year with the assistance of an invaluable ever-growing group of volunteers who fill a variety of roles including fostering, home visiting, fundraising and public relations

2010 CP’s first ever dedicated homing centre in Ferndown, Dorset, opens

2013 In April the Find-a-Cat tool was launched, with many potential adopters using the tool to input their postcode and seek out a new pet. With television advertising campaign increasing awareness in 2014, cats and kittens were placed in new homes

PRESENT The charity goes from strength to help cats in these challenging times. Our vision is a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs. Read Cats Protection's Strategy leaflet 'Moving Forward Together'; outlining our work in the longer term to ensure that there will be fewer cats needing our help

Click Here to watch a must see video charting the charity's progression from The Cats Protection League to Cats Protection

Information courtesy of the main website at www.cats.org.uk